Egypt may impose health tax on cement firms

18 Apr 2010

(MENAFN) An official at the Egyptian government said that the health and finance ministries are studying proposals to impose a 10 percent tax on cement companies to raise funds for public health expenditures, Reuters reported.

Egypt is overhauling healthcare and insurance to improve services for its 78 million people, of whom about 20 per cent live on less than $1 a day, according to the United Nations.

Health Minister Hatem el-Gabaly said earlier this month that the government should raise money for health expenses from polluting industries such as tobacco and cement.

The option of taxing cement firms was now under discussion, the newspaper quoted the minister as telling a news conference on Thursday.

Egypt’s construction industry has grown despite the global economic downturn, even as building projects stalled elsewhere in the region. Cement demand rose 25 percent last year, driven largely by a growing population and a cash-fuelled economy.

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